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NEGOTIATION OF THE CONVENTION

While the idea of a convention to combat desertification was discussed during the UNCED preparatory process, it was in Rio where language was adopted requesting the UN General Assembly (GA) to establish an intergovernmental negotiating committee for the purpose of negotiating the convention. The GA, during its 47th session in 1992, adopted resolution 47/188 calling for the establishment of the INCD, with the aim of finalizing the Convention by June 1994.

At the organizational session of the INCD in January 1993, delegates elected Bo Kjell�n (Sweden) Chair of the Committee. The first session of the INCD was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 24 May - 3 June 1993. The first week of the session focused on the sharing of technical information and assessments on various aspects of drought and desertification. The second week focused on the structure and elements to be contained in the Convention. Delegates also exchanged ideas about the CCD and its objectives.

The second session of the INCD met in Geneva from 13-24 September 1993. The Committee considered the compilation text of the CCD prepared by the Secretariat and agreed on the future programme of work of the Committee, including the elaboration of regional instruments for Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The third session of the INCD was held at UN Headquarters in New York from 17-28 January 1994. At this session the two working groups focused on the draft negotiating text of the Convention that was prepared by the Secretariat. Progress was made in shaping the Convention and in identifying the areas of convergence and divergence. The INCD also discussed the elements to be contained in the regional instrument for Africa.

The fourth session of the INCD was held in Geneva from 21-31 March 1994. The two working groups continued negotiating the draft Convention text. Delegates also formally considered the Regional Implementation Annex for Africa for the first time. The Asian and Latin American regional groups produced their own draft regional implementation instruments. Although these annexes were not discussed in detail, the initial reaction was positive.

The fifth session of the INCD was held in Paris from 6-17 June 1994. During this session, delegates worked through long nights to reach agreement on the remaining bracketed text in the Convention and to finalize the four regional implementation annexes for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Northern Mediterranean. The Convention was adopted on 17 June 1994, along with resolutions that recommended urgent action for Africa and interim arrangements for the period between adoption of the CCD and its entry into force.

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